I've been a MAP reviewer to two separate organizations over the past year or so. Very different places, very different organizations. One was a very small history organization in a very small town in the mountainous west; the other a historic house part of a larger organization in the Mid-West. Both applied for the MAP program (which does not cost your organization anything) because they knew they could be better. The MAP process is an easy application, followed by a self-study and a consultant visit. In reviewing the self-study documents for my two museums, I found that it gave each organization a chance to really think about its work: about what they do, who they involve, what they collect, and critically, from my perspective, how they connect with their communities. And I hope my site visit gave them a chance to ask questions, to hear how other museums organize their work and connect with their communities, to brainstorm a bit and consider the "what ifs" that should be a part of all of our work. The site visit isn't a judgment--it's a chance for you to work with an experienced museum professional and gain her perspective. After the site visit, the consultant completes a written report, which can provide important information and guidance as the museum moves forward.
(And by the way, as a reviewer, I've loved the chance to learn about a new museum, meet new colleagues, and see new parts of the country.)
You can apply for one of three MAP assessments:
Photos from Pie-Town, New Mexico, FSA/OWI Collection, Library of Congress